Oct. 17-18, 2014
Two years ago Jamie and I went to Richfield during her fall recess to ride some of the Paiute ATV trails. Unfortunately, we got snow that week, which made it impossible to ride the higher elevation trails, and the lower elevation trails were pretty muddy. Since this has been such a gorgeous autumn, we decided to go back and try again.
Friday, Oct 17: Monroe
Several years ago we rode from Monroe up to Manning Meadow Reservoir via Paiute Side Trail (PST) #65. Trail #65 was fairly steep and tight, but it was also pretty fun. We decided to try it again, but I worried that the trail would be severely eroded due to all of the rain we have received this fall. I suspect the trail was indeed damaged, but it had very recently been repaired and graded. It turns out that this made it really difficult on a dirt bike. The soil was very loose and consisted of small chunks of broken up shale-like rock. It was like riding in 3” of ball bearings. We were spinning and sliding all over the place. We let a little air out of our tires, which helped a little bit.
Once we reached trail #78 things got much easier (for a while). We took a side detour to check out Hunts Lakes and also rode up to Monroe Peak. The atmosphere was pretty hazy, so the view wasn’t as good as I had hoped.
After reaching the main Paiute loop, #01, we found a nice meadow with some old logs and enjoyed our lunch break.
After lunch, we started on our main destination ride – trail #89. I had heard that this trail was really fun. Most of it was fun, but there were several steep and rocky sections that earn the trail its advanced rating. We also took the side spur out to Upper Box Creek Reservoir and back. This trail was also quite challenging. I would rate it as advanced even though my trail map lists it as intermediate.
The southern half of 89 had the nastiest rocky section of the entire trip. This is the only section that caused Jamie to stall her bike. But it was a short climb and most of the trail was fun as it wound through the trees and meadows.
We had a little extra time, so we decided to explore part of trail #53 and #54. #54 was very rocky. The first section was like riding on bowling ball sized rocks. I would definitely rate this section as advanced.
After completing #54 we worked our way back to the car via #01 and #78. These were very easy roads, but we were still very tired at the end of the day. We covered approximately 80 miles.
After returning to our motel we enjoyed a soak in the hot tub and then a nice Strawberry Chicken Salad from Pepperbellys.
Saturday, Oct 18: Fremont Indian State Park
After checking out of the motel, we drove over to the staging area near the Fremont Indian State Park and headed north on trail #01. This is perhaps the hardest section of the main loop. The first 4 or 5 miles are fairly steep and rocky. Neither of us had any real struggle, but we were pretty tired of rocks by the time we got past this section.
Just as we finished the rocky section, we started seeing a lot of deer hunters since this was opening day for the hunt. We tried to ride quietly so that we wouldn’t disturb their hunt.
We continued on #01 until we came to the junction with PST #06. #01 is mostly very nice through this section, but there is one steep descent going down into Chokecherry Hollow. This hollow had some of the prettiest autumn leaves of our two-day ride.
Trail #06 was also pretty easy with one fairly steep and rocky downhill section just before the junction with #15. #15 is a very well maintained road and we made good time heading back south towards I-70. We thought we would stop for lunch at Three Creeks Reservoir, but the road to the reservoir had a locked gate. So, we continued south, crossed under I-70 and stopped for lunch at Fish Creek.
We finished #15 with time to spare, so we decided to ride up #13 past the old Kimberly mine and come down my all-time favorite Paiute trail – the Max Reid trail. This trail was rockier than I remembered, but it was still really fun. This brought us right back to our car for a total ride of just less than 60 miles.
In all we covered about 140 miles of trail with a good mix of advanced ATV trail, intermediate ATV trail and road, and some really easy roads. We even rode a few miles of pavement each day.